Sergeant Michael Egan, Detective Crispin Farrace, Detective Joseph Bauer, Patrolman Kevin Bolch, Patrolman Christopher Williams, Patrolman Thomas Soulias, Dispatcher Mindy Davis, Dispatcher Melissa Smethers, Patrolman Justin Schlusselfeld
On January 22, 2020 Sergeant Michael Egan, Detective Crispin Farrace, Detective Joseph Bauer, and Patrolman Kevin Bolch responded to the pond located at the Municipal Complex on a report of three juveniles in the water. An update was quickly broadcasted advising officers that two of the juveniles had self-rescued from the pond, while the third juvenile was still under the water and ice. Dispatchers Mindy Davis and Melissa Smethers were crucial throughout the incident by coordinating radio and 9-1-1.
Patrolman Thomas Soulias, Patrolman Justin Schlusselfeld, and Patrolman Christopher Williams had just recently gone off-duty and were in civilian attire. They heard the broadcast and immediately responded as well. Upon the arrival of the officers, it was determined that a juvenile victim was still in the water and lifeless. Officers, without hesitation, entered the water and swam approximately 30 feet, where they located the juvenile under the water. The officers attempted to form a human chain in an effort to bring the juvenile to shore. Due to the frigid icy water, hypothermia symptoms began setting in, and the officers found themselves in immediate danger. In addition, the juvenile slipped back under the ice and was unable to be located. With their own safety in jeopardy, officers were forced to back out of the pond. The East Brunswick Fire Department responded with specialized ice water rescue gear, and the officers gave them directions to the last known location of the juvenile. Firefighters were able to use that information and rescue the juvenile from the pond. EMS personnel immediately began CPR and transported the juvenile to the hospital, where he was later declared deceased. Multiple officers were subsequently treated for hypothermia.